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Analysts lift result forecasts for SHKP

ANALYSTS have upgraded their profit forecasts for Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) for its financial year ending June 1993 in light of the property giant's healthy interims.

Vickers Ballas Hongkong is now predicting earnings growth of 39 per cent during the 1993 financial year to $6.5 billion.

''With the disposal of several investment properties, profit from property sales should exceed expectations,'' said analyst Adrian Ngan.

But he warned that earnings per share growth was likely to be slower at 29 per cent due to the dilution effect of new shares issued on warrant conversion and share placement.

SHK Properties interim earnings for the six months to December 31 improved 20.5 per cent to $3.2 billion, underpinned by better development gains and encouraging growth in rental income.

Despite achieving a 27 per cent increase in operating profit, a higher effective tax rate of 13.5 per cent lowered its profit growth to 20.5 per cent.

Vickers Ballas predicted profit development gains would achieve a sharp 64 per cent rise to $5 billion during the 1993 financial year, derived mainly from the sale of an office block in Metroplaza, three apartment blocks in Hillsborough Court, Kodak House phase two, and Blossom Garden in Tuen Mun.

Meanwhile, rental income was forecast to rise 26 per cent to $2 billion, including an initial contribution from its Metroplaza and Dynasty Court developments.

Mr Ngan said a solid recovery in the hotel industry would benefit the group's two hotels located in Tsim Sha Tsui and Sha Tin, increasing their profit contribution by 17 per cent to $130 million.

He said: ''SHK Properties is undoubtedly the strongest property company in Hongkong with a reputable management, a high quality investment property portfolio and a sizeable low-cost land bank.

''We believe the prevailing uncertainties on the political front and the consolidation in residential property prices are providing a good buying opportunity for the shares.'' Vickers Ballas believed SHK Properties stock was undervalued, trading on prospective price-earnings multiples of 9.7 and 8.4 on the 1993 and 1994 financial years, respectively.

Mr Ngan said the $4 billion proceeds from the expected conversion of SHK Properties' 1993 warrants in December 1993 and strong cash income from property sales should enable the company to further expand its portfolio in Hongkong and explore good investment opportunities in China.

''The group's policy towards investment in China appears to be more prudent than other major property developers,'' he said.

While remaining optimistic about China's economic prospects, SHK Properties has maintained a policy of limiting its overall investment in the mainland to 10 per cent of total assets.

Meanwhile, independent stocks analysts from Sun Hung Kai Research have revised downwards their SHK Properties earnings estimates for the 1994 and 1995 financial years, based on lower sales and prices due to the sluggish small-to-medium residential property market.

Researchers said development profits in 1994 would still probably show 20 per cent growth, but forecast a 20 per cent decline in the financial year to June 1995 due to the necessity of profit sharing in one of its major projects, Ho Tung Lau, scheduled for completion in that year.

''Nonetheless, the group can easily make up for the shortfall should it choose to dispose of some of its non-core investment properties or speed up completion of other projects,'' SHK Research analysts said.